Whilst technology trends such as decreasing product costs and PAYG/mobile banking are transforming poor people’s purchasing power and energy markets, the poorest still face real challenges accessing energy products and services. Energy 4 Impact is pioneering new strategies to build cost-effective distribution networks that can reach "last mile" rural communities.
In Senegal, we have created partnerships between energy product suppliers and local women, who we trained as retailers and distribution agents for low-cost PAYG solar home systems in hard-to-reach regions.
We have also designed a supplier’s credit guarantee that enables women entrepreneurs to purchase pico-solar products and improved cookstoves on credit and to extend that credit to customers. This business model entails the women entrepreneurs placing bulk orders of products with the supplier and paying 25% of the value upfront in cash. The remaining 75% is paid back within 90 days through weekly or monthly instalments.
Support from Energy 4 Impact helps maximise their chances of success by building up their entrepreneurialism and business skills whilst also refining their marketing strategies.